South Australia's kangaroo commercial harvest zone will be expanded, and the 2020 quota has been set to help manage kangaroos, as well as support primary producers.
Following extensive community engagement, the kangaroo commercial harvest zone will be expanded to the majority of the state and the kangaroo species available for harvest will increase from January 1 next year.
The kangaroo commercial harvest zone will be expanded from South Australia's pastoral area to cover Yorke Peninsula, Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula, South East and Kangaroo Island.
The species of kangaroo available for commercial harvest will include three new species, tammar wallaby, Kangaroo Island sub-species of western grey kangaroo and eastern grey kangaroo, as well as the existing species of red kangaroo, western grey kangaroo and euro.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the updated South Australian Commercial Kangaroo Management Plan will have wide-ranging benefits.
"The change will support primary producers, local government and the commercial kangaroo industry to better manage overabundant kangaroos, and provide an opportunity to use kangaroos for meat or skin production that might otherwise only be culled and left on the ground," said Minister Whetstone.
"While recent dry conditions have resulted in a natural decline of kangaroo numbers in the north of South Australia, populations remain high across most agricultural areas of the state.
"High kangaroo numbers put pressure on our agricultural industry, the environment, the quality of life of kangaroos, and also pose a danger to motorists."
Minister Whetstone said based on community consultation the red-necked wallaby, which was previously proposed for commercial harvest has been removed, reducing the number of species to be added from four to three.
"The new species will be available for harvest from 1 January 2020," said Minister Whetstone.
"Frequent surveys will be conducted to determine population estimates for each species in each region, to ensure quotas for a sustainable harvest are set."
The annual kangaroo harvest quota for 2020 has also now been set based on data from recent kangaroo aerial and ground surveys.
Minister Whetstone said the population estimate for kangaroos in the commercial harvest area, including the new areas, is 3.6 million, a decrease compared to the 2018 estimate of 4.4 million.
"The 2020 commercial quota for all kangaroo species is 518,600 kangaroos across the entire expanded harvest zone, representing a 477% per cent increase on the number actually harvested in 2018. This quota is less than the 2019 quota of 730,200 and reflects the reduced population estimates as a result of the current dry conditions," said Minister Whetstone.
Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia President Ray Borda said the industry congratulates the Marshall Government on this innovative decision to manage kangaroo numbers across the state.
"These changes to commercial kangaroo management are a step in the right direction to balance animal welfare and sustainability, particularly during drought conditions," said Mr Borda.
Livestock SA CEO Andrew Curtis said members have been reporting the increased kangaroo numbers across many areas of the state for some time.
"The expansion of the commercial harvest zone will have positive outcomes for the environment and for the health of many kangaroo populations while allowing the effective management of roo numbers and mitigating the effects of high numbers on livestock production systems," said Mr Curtis.
To view a copy of the new South Australian Commercial Kangaroo Management Plan 2020-2024 as well as the 2020 Kangaroo Quota Report click here.